Nasarawa@24: A Reflection

Today, Nasarawa state marks 24 years of its creation; on October 1, 1996, Nasarawa State was created by the then Head of state, late General Sani Abacha with headquarters in Lafia.

The creation of the state from old Plateau State was not without some rancor. There was divergent opinion over where to cite the capital of the proposed Nasarawa state, with one camp opting for Akwanga and the other choosing Lafia. Two memorandums were submitted reflecting these opinions to the national committee for the creation of states of which former Secretary to the Nasarawa State government, under Umaru Tanko Al-makura, Alhaji Umaru Sulaiman Azores, was a member.

During the defense of these memos at the Plateau State House of Assembly complex Jos, late Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ramalan Abubakar stoutly defended Akwanga as capital for the proposed state, while Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska on the other hand stood for Lafia as capital. At the end of the exercise, the state was finally created with headquarters in Lafia.

Since then, things have not being well with the state as some select few openly expressed their displeasure over the citing of the capital in Lafia and vowed to frustrate any efforts to make Lafia look like a state capital. This position was put to test when the first Military Administrator, late Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim tried to set up Lafia Metropolitan Development Board to take charge of infrastructural development of Lafia, which was instantly frustrated.

Those against the setting up of Lafia Metropolitan Development Board just like Jos Metropolitan Board, insisted that instead of setting up a board to specifically take charge of infrastructural development of Lafia alone, government should come up with Nasarawa Urban Development Board (NUDB), which was why NUDB came on stream.

Such acrimony was behind the underdevelopment of Lafia, which made it to be referred to as a glorified local Government headquarters.

All successive administrations both military and civilian paid little attention to the development of Lafia, the state capital until the last administration of Umaru Tanko Al-makura who came on board in 2011. Thereafter, Lafia the state capital started wearing a new look befitting of a state capital somehow.

The reason why we are more concerned about Lafia is that it cannot as yet be compared to other state capitals that were created alongside Nasarawa state. A visitors first time impression of a state capital determines his notion of the state as a whole.

All well meaning people of Nasarawa state must also be disturbed about the way and manner ethnicity has eaten deep into our fabrics, to the extent that every action or inaction of individuals in the state today is being viewed from ethnic or religion prism. This is aside the sad fact of how our body polity is being filled with nepotism, sycophancy, bootlicking and mediocrity.

Indeed, nepotism, sycophancy, bootlicking and mediocrity are factors militating against our progress and development in Nasarawa state.

As Nasarawa state clocks 24 years, the question we must all ask ourselves is: have we sincerely achieved the basic objectives which informed the agitation for the creation of Nasarawa State?

For us in Nasarawa Eye, the answer is capital no, and the reason is because the unity of purpose, peaceful and harmonious co-existence, as well as the desired development which we hoped to achieve by the creation of the state are yet to be actualized, 24 years after its creation.

Now is the time for us stop on our tracks, ponder awhile by looking back at where we are coming from, what have we offered, individually and collectively towards actualizing the dreams which informed the decision for the struggle for the creation of Nasarawa state.

Unless and until we all come together and understand our differences and work towards appreciating those differences, no meaningful progress can be achieved. We must realize that Nasarawa State is the only state we can call our own.

We pay glowing tribute to all those that worked hard towards the creation of Nasarawa state. Of particular mention are: late Emir of Lafia, Alh. (Dr) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, the late Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ramalan Abubakar, late Senator Emmanuel Oyatikpo Elayo, the Osana of Keana, Alhaji Umaru Sulaiman Azores and Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska.Frontpage comment Editorial:

Nasarawa @24: A reflection

Today, Nasarawa state marks 24 years of its creation; on October 1, 1996, Nasarawa State was created by the then Head of state, late General Sani Abacha with headquarters in Lafia.

The creation of the state from old Plateau State was not without some rancor. There was divergent opinion over where to cite the capital of the proposed Nasarawa state, with one camp opting for Akwanga and the other choosing Lafia. Two memorandums were submitted reflecting these opinions to the national committee for the creation of states of which former Secretary to the Nasarawa State government, under Umaru Tanko Al-makura, Alhaji Umaru Sulaiman Azores, was a member.

During the defense of these memos at the Plateau State House of Assembly complex Jos, late Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ramalan Abubakar stoutly defended Akwanga as capital for the proposed state, while Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska on the other hand stood for Lafia as capital. At the end of the exercise, the state was finally created with headquarters in Lafia.

Since then, things have not being well with the state as some select few openly expressed their displeasure over the citing of the capital in Lafia and vowed to frustrate any efforts to make Lafia look like a state capital. This position was put to test when the first Military Administrator, late Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim tried to set up Lafia Metropolitan Development Board to take charge of infrastructural development of Lafia, which was instantly frustrated.

Those against the setting up of Lafia Metropolitan Development Board just like Jos Metropolitan Board, insisted that instead of setting up a board to specifically take charge of infrastructural development of Lafia alone, government should come up with Nasarawa Urban Development Board (NUDB), which was why NUDB came on stream.

Such acrimony was behind the underdevelopment of Lafia, which made it to be referred to as a glorified local Government headquarters.

All successive administrations both military and civilian paid little attention to the development of Lafia, the state capital until the last administration of Umaru Tanko Al-makura who came on board in 2011. Thereafter, Lafia the state capital started wearing a new look befitting of a state capital somehow.

The reason why we are more concerned about Lafia is that it cannot as yet be compared to other state capitals that were created alongside Nasarawa state. A visitors first time impression of a state capital determines his notion of the state as a whole.

All well meaning people of Nasarawa state must also be disturbed about the way and manner ethnicity has eaten deep into our fabrics, to the extent that every action or inaction of individuals in the state today is being viewed from ethnic or religion prism. This is aside the sad fact of how our body polity is being filled with nepotism, sycophancy, bootlicking and mediocrity.

Indeed, nepotism, sycophancy, bootlicking and mediocrity are factors militating against our progress and development in Nasarawa state.

As Nasarawa state clocks 24 years, the question we must all ask ourselves is: have we sincerely achieved the basic objectives which informed the agitation for the creation of Nasarawa State?

For us in Nasarawa Eye, the answer is capital no, and the reason is because the unity of purpose, peaceful and harmonious co-existence, as well as the desired development which we hoped to achieve by the creation of the state are yet to be actualized, 24 years after its creation.

Now is the time for us stop on our tracks, ponder awhile by looking back at where we are coming from, what have we offered, individually and collectively towards actualizing the dreams which informed the decision for the struggle for the creation of Nasarawa state.

Unless and until we all come together and understand our differences and work towards appreciating those differences, no meaningful progress can be achieved. We must realize that Nasarawa State is the only state we can call our own.

We pay glowing tribute to all those that worked hard towards the creation of Nasarawa state. Of particular mention are: late Emir of Lafia, Alh. (Dr) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, the late Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ramalan Abubakar, late Senator Emmanuel Oyatikpo Elayo, the Osana of Keana, Alhaji Umaru Sulaiman Azores and Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska.

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